Deductive Nomological Model and Mathematics: Making Dissatisfaction more Satisfactory

Daniele Molinini


The discussion on mathematical explanation has inherited the same sense of dissatisfaction that philosophers of science expressed, in the context of scientific explanation, towards the deductive-nomological model. This model is regarded as unable to cover cases of bona fide mathematical explanations and, furthermore, it is largely ignored in the relevant literature. Surprisingly, the reasons for this ostracism are not sufficiently manifest. In this paper I explore a possible extension of the model to the case of mathematical explanations and I claim that there are at least two reasons to judge the deductive-nomological picture of explanation as inadequate in that context.


Deductive-nomological model, Hempel, mathematical explanation, scientific explanation

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